Tag Archives: labourer

Archibald and Christina McLellan

The McLellans were included with the additional names at the end of the initial passenger list for the Blenheim and were also on the subsequent lists:

  • Archibald McLellan, 30, Morvern, labourer
  • Christina McLellan, 27

Return to The Blenheim People.


No information has been found relating to Archibald and Christina McLellan in Wellington. However, family tree information on Ancestry.com suggested that they moved on to Australia and this has been confirmed through BDM registrations.

Archibald McLellan was born in Inverness, Scotland around 1806, and died in Molong, New South Wales, Australia, on 5 December 1867, aged 61. Christina McLellan was born around 1810 in Inverness Scotland, to Donald McLellan, a fisherman, and Annie McDougal. She died at Judds Creek, Rockley, New South Wales, on 16 June 1895 of influenza, aged 85.

Archibald and Christina were married in Invernesshire, Scotland, around 1840, when Annie was 30, so this would have been shortly before the departure of the Blenheim. Christina’s death registration also reports that she had lived in New South Wales for 55 years at the time of her death.

Newspaper reports of the death of Archibald and Christina’s son John McLellan in 1920 suggest that he was born in New Zealand, came to Australia in his youth, and was for many years a farmer in the Rockley district of New South Wales at Judd Creek. His death registration confirms that he died on 26 October 1920 at Perthville, New South Wales, and was a grazier aged 78; his parents were Archibald McLellan, schoolteacher, and Christina McLellan; and that he was born in New Zealand and had been 70 years in New South Wales.

The death registration information for Isabella (McLellan) Writer, who died on 6 May 1924 aged 76, indicates that she was born in Bathurst, New South Wales. The informant was her grandson Charles E Heath, Bathurst The death registration for Christina (McLellan) Pearce, who died on 22 October 1933, aged 79, gives her place of birth as Wellington, NSW (which is near Molong), and her parents as Archibald McLellan, grazier, and Christina McLellan. The informant was her son-in-law, J W Sharwood, Bathurst.

Archibald and Christina appear to have had five children:

  • Annie McLellan, born in 1841.
  • John McLellan, born in 1842, died in 1920 in Australia, married Mary Jane Hobbs in 1896 in Australia.
  • Isabella McLellan, born in 1848, died in 1924 in Australia, married John Writer in 1871.
  • Mary Josephine McLellan, born in 1849, died in 1939 in Australia, married John H Jones in 1869.
  • Christina McLellan, born in 1854, died in 1933 in Australia, married John Pearce in 1875.

Sources:

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William Nicol and Janet Jamieson

William and Janet Nicholl and their family were described in the embarkation and subsequent lists for the Blenheim as coming from Paisley.  The family was listed as follows:

  • William Nicholl, 47, labourer
  • Janet Nicholl, 35
  • John Nicholl, 18, labourer
  • William Nicholl, 16, labourer
  • Charles Nicholl, 13
  • James Nicholl, 10
  • Janet Nicholl, 8

In all lists their name was spelled “Nicholl”.  However, in most documents prior to departure and subsequent to their arrival in New Zealand the spelling “Nicol” was used.


Return to The Blenheim People.


William Nicol and Janet Jamieson

William Nicol was born around 1793, and Janet Jamieson around 1805.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, for October 1804, records that a Janet Jamieson, legal daughter of John Jamieson and Janet Cochran, was born 22 ult. and baptized 5 inst, i.e. she was born on 22 September 1804.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, records the proclamation of William Nicol and Janet Jamieson, both in this Parish, on 17 June 1821, and the payment of one shilling for three proclamations. The proclamation of banns was the notice of contract of marriage, read out in the Kirk before the marriage took place. Couples or their ‘cautioners’ (sponsors) were often required to pay a ‘caution’ or security to prove the seriousness of their intentions. Forthcoming marriages were supposed to be proclaimed on three successive Sundays, however, in practice, all three proclamations could be made on the same day on payment of a fee.

William Nicol was described as a labourer of 47 when he emigrated to New Zealand.  William Nicol, Pipitea, labourer, was included on the list of persons qualified to serve as Jurors for the district of Port Nicholson in 1845, and in the 1847 to 1849 lists he was described as a tapkeeper,  Lambton Quay.

Janet Nicol died on 19 October 1848.  The Wellington Independent of 25 October 1848 carried the following report:

Died.—At her residence, Lambtonquay, on Thursday last, Mrs. Janet Nicol, aged 43 years.—An Inquest was held the following day at Barrett’s Hotel, on view of the body, before J. Fitzgerald, Esq., M. D., Coroner.—Mr. Nicol being called in stated, on Thursday the 19th instant, I found my wife lying on the floor (about 3 o’clock) apparently in a fit, but unfortunately she was dead; she had not five minutes before served the coxswain of the Fly’s gig, with a bottle of grog; when I went into the room she was lying on the floor amongst broken dishes and water, which must have been capsized at the time she had fallen by the severe shock of an earthquake the large cask in which we kept our, water having been upset. The Jury after a short consultation returned a verdict, died of apoplexy.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 19 March 1878 carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 17th inst., at the residence of his son, Mr Charles Nicol, Marton, William Nicol, formerly of Paisley, Scotland, aged 80 years.  The funeral will take place today, at half-past 2 p.m.”

John Nicol

John Nicol was described as a labourer of 18 on the Blenheim passenger list.

The Old Parish Register for November 1821 for Abbey, Renfrew, recorded that John, son of William Nicol and Janet Jamieson was born on 21 October and baptized on 18 November.

The following information remains to be confirmed as applying to this John Nicol.

New Zealand BDM records show the marriage of a John Nichol and E Rori Kapiti on 4 November 1841.  The records also show a birth, name not recorded, parents Betty and John Nicol, on 17 June 1848.

The Wellington Independent of 24 April 1847 published a Notice from the Treasury, Wellington, dated 23 April 1847, giving notice of the issue of Special Publican’s Licences to, among others, John Nicol, Pukarua [Pukerua?]. A John Nicol was also included in the list, published in the Wellington Independent of 13 August 1853,  of Gentlemen who had consented to act as a Committee to secure the return of W B Rhodes, Esq., to represent the Wellington Country District in the General Assembly.  The Electoral Rolls for Wellington and Wellington Country for 1853-64 included a John Nicol, Paekakariki, publican, qualification a household near Wainui.

The Wellington Independent of 16 September 1869 carried a lengthy report of legal proceedings relating to the lease of an accommodation or public house at Paekakariki, on land owned by Betty Nicol, the Maori wife of John Nicol – apparently known as “Scotch Jock”.  The Nicols lived at Waikanae.

William Nicol

William Nicol was a labourer of 16 on the Blenheim passenger list.

William Nicol Jnr, Lambton Quay, servant, was included on the list of persons qualified to serve as Jurors for the district of Port Nicholson in 1847.

The New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 9 July 1847 carried a report of a case in the Resident Magistrate’s Court where William Nicol appeared on a summons to answer the charge of having refused to support the male infant of Caroline Gooden, of which it was alleged he was the father.

The New Zealander of 9 April 1851 published the list of applications for Publicans’ Licenses, noting that if they were all to succeed the number of public houses in Auckland and its neighbourhood would be nearly doubled at once, and suggesting that they should be as much as possible confined to the leading thoroughfares since “In the back and little frequented streets they too frequently become rather nuisances and receptacles of vice.”  William Nicol, Black Bull, Albert St, was on the list of new applicants.  In 1855, William Nicol, Masonic Hotel, Princes street, was on the list of applicants.

William Nicol married Jane Harriet Brown on 9 April 1853 in Auckland.

The Electoral Rolls for Auckland, Southern Division, for 1853-1864 included William Nicol, Princes street, hotel keeper, freehold estate.

William Nicol retired from the Masonic Hotel in 1869, the occasion being recognised by the United Service Lodge of Freemasons, as reported in the New Zealand Herald of 1 April 1869.

Jane Harriet Nicol died in 1875 aged 49.  The Daily Southern Cross of 12 August 1875 carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On August 10, at her residence Grey-street, Harriett Jane, the beloved wife of Mr William Nicol, aged 49 years.”

The Wanganui Chronicle of 2 May 1877 noted, “We regret to learn that Mr William Nicol, eldest brother of Mr Charles Nicol, of Marton, died at Auckland on Friday last.  He was for some time the proprietor of the Masonic Hotel at Auckland, but retired into private life some time ago.”  The Auckland Star of 27 April 1877 had carried the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 27th instant, at Grey-street, Auckland, William Nicol, in the 56th year of his age.”

William and Harriet had at least seven children:

  • William Henry Nicol, born in 1855, died in 1880, married Rachel Darby in 1875.
  • Emily Elizabeth Jane Nicol, born in 1856, married Edgar Patteson Hulme in 1876.
  • Frederick Thomas Nicol, born in 1858, died in 1927.
  • Harriet Annie Nicol, born in 1859, died in 1887.
  • James McNeill Nicol, born in 1861, died in 1904.
  • Alfred Alexander Nicol, born in 1863, died in 1947.
  • Lucy Isabella Nicol, born in 1865, married Donald Alexander McLeod in 1893.

Charles Nicol

Charles Nicol was 13 when he set out with his family on the Blenheim in 1840.

Charles Nicol and Catherine Jane Murray were married on 20 April 1852 at Wanganui.

In 1865 Charles Nicol founded  a bakery business in Marton, which was taken over by his son John Murray Nicol in 1895.

The Wanganui Chronicle of 5 April 1883 included the Death Notice: “Nicol – On the 3rd April, at Marton, Charles Nicol (brother to Mrs. John Cudby, Lower Hutt), aged 55 years.”  An obituary was published in the same issue:

THE LATE MR NICOL.
The funeral of the late Mr Charles Nicol took place yesterday afternoon at the Mount View Cemetery, near Marton. The burial service over the grave was performed by the Rev. Mr Stewart and a great number of friends from Wanganui and all parts of the district paid a last tribute of respect to the memory of the deceased by attending his funeral rites. The late Mr Nicol was a very old and respected settler. He came to Port Nicholson in 1840, in the good ship Blenheim (Captain Gray), which landed its passengers at Kaiwarra. Amongst Mr Nicol’s fellow-voyagers were Captain Cameron, of Marangai, Mr Gregor McGregor, and many other of our leading settlers. Mr Nicol learned the trade of baker in Wellington, and in 1848 came to Wanganui, and was employed to bake for Messrs Taylor and Watt. He subsequently became the possessor of the property in Wickstead Pace now owned by’ Mr Henry Churton and here he carried on his business very successfully for many years, during which he held the bread contracts for the troops stationed in Wanganui. Misfortunes, however, came thick upon him due to his own easy good nature, and the misplaced confidence he reposed in his friends. Taking his large family with him, Mr Nicol went some years ago to try his fortune in the new and rising township of Marton, and there he remained until his death on Tuesday last, at the comparatively early age of 54. Mr Nicol leaves behind him many children, all of them growing up, and having before them every prospect of doing well. As a man and a citizen the deceased gentleman was greatly respected, and he will long be missed by his old friends who knew his amiability of temper, unfailing good nature and sterling worth.

Catherine Jane (Murray) Nicol died on 16 July 1919 at Marton, aged 89.

Charles and Catherine had at least six children:

  • Mary Nicol, born in 1853, died in 1926, married Thomas Stoddart Lambert, architect, in 1871.
  • Janet Nicol, born in 1854, died in 1919, married John Aitken in 1876.
  • John Murray Nicol, born in 1861, died in 1918, married Emma Sophia Bensemann in 1883.
  • Margaret Kate Nicol, born in 1868.
  • Annie Harriet Nicol, born in 1869, married William Williams in 1903.
  • Ellen McFarlane Nicol, born in 1871, died in 1954, married Robert Joseph Carter in 1895.

James Nicol

James Nicol was 10 years old in 1840 when he sailed on the Blenheim to New Zealand with his family.

James Nicol and Isabella Smith were married on 5 March 1861.

James Nicol died in 1918.  The Wairarapa Age of 23 October 1916 carried the following obituary:

MR. JAMES NICOL. Another of the very early settlers of New Zealand, in the person of Mr James Nicol, passed away at his residence in Church Street, Masterton, about eight o’clock on Saturday morning.  The deceased, who had reached the great age of 85 years was born in Paisley, Scotland, in 1831. With his parents he arrived in Wellington in the ship Blenheim on Christmas Day, 1840.   When quite a lad he became associated with horses, and was employed for some time in the stable of the late Dr. Fitzgerald. He afterwards had the mounts on the j horses of Mr St. Hill. In 1846 he rode the mare Bella at Bunham Water, Wellington, and was just defeated on the post.  In 1847 he rode the winner of the Te Aro Steeplechase. Later he owned Retribution, the winner of the first New Zealand Steeplechase, since called the Grand National Steeplechase. He also owned the stallion Riddlesworth, one of the first thoroughbred horses to be imported to the Dominion. In 1852 he went to Australia, and was present at the Bendigo gold rush. For a number of years he drove cattle for Wairarapa settlers round the. “Rocks” to Wellington, before the road was constructed over the Rimutaka. Subsequently he became part owner, with the late Mr Hume, of the Blairlogie station, and later resided at the Lower Taueru. In 1870 he came to Masterton, where he has resided ever since. He owned for many years the freehold of the Empire Hotel and possessed other property interests in the town. He was a splendid judge of horseflesh, and a skilled veterinarian. He was the oldest vestryman of St. Matthew’s Church, and was scrupulously conscientious in all his dealings. He was a member of the Scotch Lodge of Freemasons, and was a Sergeant in the Cavalry in the early days. In 1862 the deceased married Miss Isabella Smith, daughter, of the late Mr John Smith, one of the earliest engineers in Wellington. He leaves a widow, two daughters, and four sons The daughters are. Mrs Vincent Hooper (Auckland) and Mrs W. C. Cargill (Morrinsville). The sons are Messrs John Nicol (Te Aroha), George Nicol (Picton), Private Arthur Nicol (on active service), and Mr Len. Nicol, jeweller, of Masterton. The deceased was highly respected by all with whom he was acquainted, and his death will be deeply, regretted. The funeral takes place to-morrow (Tuesday) afternoon, at 3 o’clock.

James and Isabella had eight children:

  • William Smith Nicol, born in 1863, died in 1865.
  • Harriet Jane Nicol, born in 1864, died in 1941, married Vincent Hooper in 1885.
  • John Robert Nicol, born in 1867, died in 1959, married Elizabeth Barratt in 1892.
  • George William Nicol, born in 1869, died in 1943, married Katrina Neilson in 1903.
  • Isabella Emily Nicol, born in 1871, married William Clement Cargill in 1894.
  • Frederick James Nicol, born in 1873.
  • Arthur Charles Nicol, born in 1876, died in 1941, married Lillian May Jackson in 1900, divorced in 1910, married Caroline Fanny Whyatt in 1920.
  • Leonard Spencer Nicol, born in 1883, died in 1950, married Stella Maud Clark in 1919.

Janet Nicol

Janet Nicol was 8 when she travelled to New Zealand on the Blenheim in 1840.

BDM records show the marriage of Jane Nicholl to John Francis Cudby on 9 November 1849.

John Francis Cudby was born on 28 February 1830 in Ingrave, Essex, England, to John Cudby and Henrietta Clampin.  He emigrated to New Zealand in 1842, aged 13, on the Thomas Sparks.  John’s brother Charles also emigrated to New Zealand in 1857 on the William and Alfred.

John Cudby established a contracting business for earthworks and construction, then added a coaching business, which was taken over by his sons George and Walter.

Janet Cudby died in 1907 aged 74. The Manawatu Standard of 2 November 1907 published the following obituary:

Mrs Janet Cudby, a much-respected resident of the Lower Hutt, died at the family residence yesterday morning, aged 74. The deceased lady, who is survived by her husband, Mr John Cudby, had lived in the Hutt district for a great many years, and went through all the trials of the early settlers. She had been ill for some time. The members of her family have been identified with the Hutt all their lives, and with their father have taken a prominent part in the development of the district.

John Francis Cudby died in 1920, at the age of 90.  The Evening Post of 8 June 1920 carried the Death Notice: “Cudby – On the 8th June, 1920, at his late residence, Railway-avenue, Lower Hutt, John Francis Cudby, relict of the late Janet Cudby, in his 91st year. R.I.P.”  The paper also had the following obituary:

MR. J. F. CUDBY
An early settler, who grew up with the Hutt district, Mr. John Francis Cudby, died at his residence, Railway-avenue, Lower Hutt, early this morning. Mr. Cudby’s interests from early youth had been in the Hutt Valley, and his history was the history of this fertile district. No one could tell its history better than he himself, for he had experienced the events and times of which he spoke and remembered them, even when he had reached the age where, with many men, the memory becomes dim. He was born in Essex in 1828, and came out to New Zealand with Lord Petre as a lad in 1843 in the ship Commerce Sparks. From the time of his arrival in the country to the day of his death, he resided at Lower Hutt. At first he lived and worked on the Woburn estate. Afterwards he became the owner of large livery stables near the railway station. He retired from active participation in the business some forty years ago, but continued to take a very lively interest in the affairs of the district. He possessed the hard, commonsense which was a distinguishing trait of many early settlers, and this made him a valued member of the Lower Hutt Borough Council for many years. He was also a member of the Licensing Committee, and as a Justice of the Peace for over thirty years was a familiar figure on the Hutt Magistrate’s Court Bench. He resigned from the Commission of the Peace two years ago. In the early days of the Wellington Racing Club he held the office of Clerk of the Course. In friendly society work he was a staunch supporter, and he held the record of seventy years’ membership of the Oddfellows Lodge. Mr. Cudby enjoyed good health, in spite of his years, until two years ago. He leaves a family of five sons and three daughters. The sons are: James, living at Lower Hutt; Charles, at Dannevirke; Henry, Alfredton; George, Rangiora; and Walter, Lower Hutt. The daughters are Mrs. J. Fleet, Petone; Mrs. Turner, Lower Hutt; and Mrs. E. D. Dunne, Wellington. Mrs. Cudby, who was also an early settler, having come out from Paisley, Scotland, in the Janet Nicol [sic], died twelve years ago. At the meeting, of the Hutt County Council this morning, a motion of sympathy was passed with the deceased’s relatives, the members standing as a mark of respect.

Jane and John had nine children:

  • James Cudby, born in 1852, died in 1923.
  • William Cudby, born in 1851, died in 1908, married Emily Frances Rivers in 1883.
  • Charles Cudby, born in 1854, died in 1942, married Emma Catherine McIntosh in 1882.
  • Emma Frances Cudby, born in 1858, died in 1941, married Joseph Frederick Fleet in 1884.
  • Henry Cudby, born in 1860, died in 1946.
  • George Cudby, born in 1862 (registration 1913), died in 1934, married Jane Muirhead in 1896.
  • Henrietta Cudby, born in 1864, died in 1955, married James Turner in 1890.
  • Walter Thomas Cudby, born in 1868, died in 1926.
  • Ada Winifred Cudby, born in 1871, died in 1958, married Edward Dowling Dunne in 1898.

Sources:

John Turner

The embarkation list for the Blenheim listed John Turner as a mason aged 21; the next list described him as a labourer of 20; while in the arrival list he is a mason with his age given as 30, and the comment made in relation to him, Daniel McCollsty and Alexander Grant, all with an age of 30, “What is the [truth] the ages are not given here.”


Return to The Blenheim People.


A John Turner, a tailor, was already resident and operating his business in Wellington before the arrival of the Blenheim.  There were two John Turners in the jury lists for Port Nicholson in 1845-1850: John Turner, tailor, Willis St (1845) Lambton Quay (1847); and John Turner, shoemaker, Pipitea (1845), Willis St (1847), River Hutt (1849).

A John Turner, along with a James Turner and others, was a steerage passenger on the Thames, which left Wellington for California in February 1850.

No further information has been confirmed for John Turner.


Sources:

Alexander Thompson and Helen Gollan

Alexander and Helen Thompson were not on the initial passenger list for the Blenheim, but did appear on the embarkation and subsequent lists:

  • Alexander Thompson, 28, Paisley, labourer
  • Helen Thompson, 26, Paisley

Spelling: Although the Blenheim passenger lists used “Thompson” most other records have “Thomson”.


Return to The Blenheim People.


Based on the details in the Blenheim passenger list, Alexander Thomson was born around 1812 and his wife Helen around 1814.

The Old Parish Register for Paisley Middle parish records that Alexander Thomson, lawful son of Alexander Thomson and Margaret Robertson, was born on 27 October 1812 and baptized on 15 November 1812.

The Old Parish Register for Barony in Lanark, recorded the marriage on 15 May 1836 of Alexander Thomson, cotton spinner, Calton, and Helen Gollan, residing there.

From the reports below, it appears that Alexander and Helen moved to Auckland shortly after the arrival of the Blenheim, and eventually settled on a farm in West Tamaki.

The Auckland Star of 14 June 1886 provided a full report of the Golden Wedding celebrations for the couple:

A GOLDEN WEDDING.
The golden wedding of Mr and Mrs Alex. Thomson was celebrated on the evening of Thursday, the l0th inst., in the Presbyterian Church of Tamaki West. The little church was very artistically decorated for the occasion with evergreens, white and pink camellias, and other flowers of the season. About three hundred visitors were invited, and the church was literally crowded. An excellent repast was provided, chiefly by Mrs Thomson. Tables the whole length of the inside of the building were liberally spread with the daintiest viands. A number of ladies of Tamaki and neighbouring settlementa courteously waited at the table. After a bountiful tea, the Rev. John Macky took the cbair, supported by Mr and Mrs Thomson, Mr William Thorne, and immediate relations. The proceedings opened with the hymn “Praise Ye Jehovah” and prayer by Rev. R. F. Macnicol. The Chairman then made a few appropriate remarks upon the auspicious event, and called upon the Rev. Mr Steele to read apologies from well-wishers who were unavoidably absent, viz., the Revs. David Bruce, A. Carrick, T. M. King (St. John’s College), Mr James Bell, of Wairoa, and several others. The Chairman proceeded and expressed the pleasure he felt in the position which he had been called upon to occupy. He felt sure that in wishing Mr and Mrs Thomson much happiness on the event of their golden wedding day, every heart would respond to the prayer that their kind friends might be spared many years longer in their career of usefulness in connection with the locality and the church. He had known Mr and Mrs Thomson intimately ever since he was first introduced to them thirty three years ago. Having spoken at some length in eulogistic terms of the amiable qualities of his friends, he would call upon Mr Thomson to speak for himself and his aged partner. Mr Thomson, on rising, was greeted with prolonged applause, and proceeded to say that he had frequently said that if it should please God to spare him and Mrs Thomson to see fifty years of married life, he would have all Tamaki and half Auckland present to celebrate the happy event. He had not much to say to married guests upon the subject of matrimony, but he hoped they would all live to see their golden wedding, and be able to look back over half a century with as much retrospective pleasure and satisfaction as he looked over his past. He then gave some advice to unmarried men, enforcing the words of the highest authority, “It is not good for man to be alone,” the truth of which he and his partner had proved in their early colonial struggle by being united. They had found in their mutual endeavours that “two heads are better than one.” The speaker then gave a pleasing sketch of his life from tho time when he started with others from Glasgow, in 1840, by the good ship Blenheim for Wellington, and of his arrival in Auckland with Sir William Martin, the Hon. William Swainson, Mr Outhwaite, and others. He and his partner worked hard, and at length saved sufficient money to purohase Water Yett, Tamaki, the farm upon which he and Mrs Thomson had laboured 40 years. He now occupied the building which formed the first Presbyterian Church in the province. A preacher, still living in Scotland, characterised the church as a barn, and the pulpit a tea chest. He did not approve of the terms. The little church, however, had boen of real service to the people of the district, and the ministrations from that so-called “tea chest” had proved a blessing to many. Mr Thomson then sketched the history of the church and the Sunday school and Bible class, with which he had been closely connected, for the long term of forty-five years, concluding with several suggestions for practical work and general improvement. At Mr Thomson’s request, Rev. Mr Steele read the marriage lines, which showed that Alexander Thomson, bachelor, and Ellen Gollan, spinster, were married on the 2nd of June, 1836, by the Rev. John Edwards, in the Monteith Row Church, Glasgow. (Loud cheers.) Short congratulatory addresses were successively given by Rev. T. G. Carr, D. W. Runciman, G. E. Monro, K. F. Macnicol, Thomas Norrie and Mr Hunter. Between these brief speeches several sacred selections and songs ware sung. Mrs Kimpton, of Otahuhu, sang the old but very appropriate song, “Darby and Joan,” with telling effect. The same lady, with Miss Wallace, sang a duet, and subsequently the fine lyric entitled “Charity.” Miss Pulman sang “Too Late,” with pianoforte accompaniment. Mr James Wallace gave a recitation, “The Young Man Leaving Home,” with much elocutionary skill. Miss Lily Pulman then recited “The Golden Wedding Song,” written for the occasion by Mr John Blackman, which was received in a kindly spirit. This effusion was distinctly and clearly enunciated by the reciter. A splendid picture of the aged pair, photographed by Pulman, Shortland-street, was then exhibited to the audience, elegantly framed. The wedding cake was then cut by the bride with the silver knife and distributed to the assembled visitors. The cake was the gift of Mrs Carr and Messrs W and A, Thorne. The Rev. Mr Steele, on behalf of the company, expressed thanks to Mr and Mrs Thomson, to the ladies of the tea tables, and to all who had assisted in contributing to the entertainment, and the whole closed with the Benediction pronounced by the Chairman.

His death registration shows that Alexander Thomson died on 3 August 1886 at St Andrews Church of Scotland. He was a farmer of 73, the son of Alexander Thomson, stonemason, and Margaret Robertson, was born in Paisley, had been in New Zealand for 46 years, and had been married in Glasgow at 25 to Helen Gollan. There were no living children. The cause of death was apoplexy.

The Auckland Star of 4 August 1886 carried the Death Notice: “Thomson – On August 3, Alexander Thomson of West Tamaki.” The New Zealand Herald of 4 August 1886 included the following account of his life and death:

SUDDEN DEATH AT THE MEETING OF THE AUCKLAND PRESBYTERY.
At the meeting of the Auckland Presbytery, yesterday afternoon, a very sad event occurred. After the Presbytery had concluded the business before it, Mr. Alexander Thomson, an elder residing at Panmure, and representing the church at West Tamaki, rose, having taken no part in the business previously, and asked that the Presbytery should proceed then to inquire whether the collections for the foreign missions appointed by the Assembly had been made by the several congregations. To this the Presbytery at once agreed, out of respect to Mr. Thomson, and was about to carry nut the request when he was observed to have fallen back in his chair in what appeared to be a fainting fit. He was immediately unconscious and, a pallor coming over his features, it became evident that death was at hand. The Moderator and the other members near him did all they could to ease his position, but the heart had ceased its pulsations. Dr. Kenderdine was present in a few minutes, and pronounced life extinct, the cause being apoplexy. After some time had elapsed, and the body had been removed into the vestry, the Presbytery met for a few minutes, and Mr. Carrick, at the Moderator’s request, engaged in prayer, the Presbytery adjourning its meeting until to-day, at ten a.m.
The deceased gentleman was 75 years of age, and on the 10th of June last celebrated his golden wedding. It appears that about two years ago he received injury in the chest from the kick of a horse, which at the time caused a very dangerous illness. Since his recovery he had been subject to fainting fits, and yesterday morning, when coming to the Presbytery meeting, he complained of not feeling well. Mr. Thomson came to Wellington in 1840, and after remaining there for about a year he came to Auckland, where he has been ever since, on a farm at the Tamaki. He leaves a widow, but no children. Deceased was an active member of the Presbyterian Church, and took a great interest in the Sunday schools and in other departments of Church work. He was kindly, frank, and hospitable.

The Auckland Star of 14 August 1886 also provided an obituary:

Mr Alexander Thomson, a very old settler of Tamaki West, and an elder of the Presbyterian Church, died on Tuesday, August 3, at the sitting of the Presbytery in St. Andrew’s Church. Mr Thomson came into town early and transacted a considerable amount of business,and while dining at a friend’s house in Shortland street said he feared he had overdone it. He felt somewhat weary, and his breathing was difficult. He left for the meeting of Presbytery at St. Andrew’s, and was speaking upon the subject of the collections of the churches for Foreign Missions, when suddenly he staggered and fell back unconscious upon the seat. A pallor immediately overspread his features, and it was evident that the hand of death «as upon him. Mr Lennox ran for Dr. Kenderdine, and that gentleman, on arrival, pronounced life extinct. The cause of his death was apoplexy. The body was removed at the moderator’s request into the vestry, and subsequently was placed in a shell and removed by Mr Wm. Thorne, solicitor, a nephew of deceased, to Mr Thomson’s late residence. Deceased was born in Glasgow in I811, so that he had reached his 75th year. In early life Mr Thomson was a cotton weaver in his native city, and was of a quiet and religious disposition. He was married June 2, 1836, to Ellen Gollan, in Glasgow, and four years from that auspicious event, in 1840, the young pair left Glasgow in the good ship Blenheim, for the city of Wellington, and after staying there for some months, sailed for Auckland, and filled in this city and suburbs several positions of trust. Mr Thomson and his partner settled on a small farm at West Tamaki, known as Water Yett, where they lived for more than 40 years. Mr Thomson told the story of his colonial struggles with graphic force on the occasion of the celebration of his “golden wedding” in June last. The funeral of the deceased was very largely attended, several hundred persons joining in the procession. A short service at the house was conducted by the Rev. John Macky, sen., minister of the united charge of Otahuhu, Tamaki, and Howick, and the Rev. T. G. Carr, Wesleyan minister (nephew of the deceased by marriage). On arriving at the cemetery the coffin was carried into St. Enoch’s Church, where service was performed by the Revs. J. Macky and T. Norrie, the former giving an appropriate address, in which he spoke of the Christian character of the deceased, and the good services he had rendered in the district for many years, especially to the younger members of the resident families, and concluded by urging all to follow his example. The Rev. D. Bruce and Rev. Mr Steele conducted the service at the grave, near the church.

Helen Thomson, widow of 84, died on 14 May 1898, at Pakuranga. No details of her parents were included in death registration, although it was noted that her father was a schoolteacher. Helen was born in Glasgow, and had been in New Zealand for 58 years. She was married in Glasgow at 18 to Alexander Thomson. There were no living children. The cause of death was senile decay.

The New Zealand Herald of 16 May 1898 carried the death Notice: “Thomson – On Saturday May 14, Helen, the widow of the late Alexander Thomson, of West Tamaki, aged 84.”

The reports above refer to a nephew, William Thorne, solicitor, and nephew by marriage, the Rev T G Carr. William Thorne and Matilda Carr were the children of William Thorne and Mary Gollan, Helen’s sister, who were married in 1846. Mary Gollan emigrated to New Zealand on the Duchess of Argyle which sailed from Greenock to Auckland in 1842. She was 30. There was another family of Gollans from Glasgow on this ship, headed by James Gollan, 33, and including his wife Abigail and several children.


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William Harvie

The initial passenger list for the Blenheim, did not include William Harvie. He was, however, included in the embarkation and subsequent lists as William Harvie, 15, labourer.


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Based on the age given in the Blenheim passenger list, William Harvie was born around 1825.

No further information has been confirmed for William Harvie.


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Mathew and Margaret Dunnet

In the Blenheim embarkation and subsequent lists, the family was described as follows:

      • Mathew Dunnet, 36, Paisley, labourer, 36
      • Margaret Dunnet, 33, Paisley
      • John Dunnet 7½, Paisley
      • Janet Dunnet, 4, Paisley
      • plus Ellen Thomson Dunnet, born at sea

An Andrew Dunnet, 22, Pulteney, cartwright,  was included in the initial passenger list for the Blenheim but the name was crossed out and did not appear on subsequent lists.

Note on spelling: In different records spellings used include “Mathew” or “Matthew”, “Dunnet” or “Dunnett” and “Barbour” or “Barber”. The text below generally follows the document used.


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Matthew Dunnet and Margaret Barbour

The Old Parish Register for the Paisley parish of Abbey, Renfrew, recorded that Matthew Dunnet, son of John Dunnet and Sarah Sinklar [Sinclair], was born on 3 February and baptized on 19 February 1804.

Margaret Barbour was also born in Paisley in about 1808.

Family trees on Ancestry.com suggest that in addition to  their children John and Janet, there was also a son David, who died before the departure of the Blenheim.

The marriage of Matthew Dunnet and Margaret Barbour was recorded on 8 December 1832 in the parish of Paisley Burgh or Low, and on 9 December 1832 in the parish of Paisley Middle.

In 1840 Matthew and Margaret sailed to New Zealand on the Blenheim with their two surviving children John and Janet.  A child, Ellen Thomson Dunnet, was born at sea on the Blenheim.

The family lived in Wellington for 10-11 years, during which time further children were born – Annie (19 April 1843), Sarah (1846), and Margaret (1848-1850).

Annie’s birth registration gave her name as Anne, born 19 April 1843 at Wellington; father Matthew Dunnett, labourer, born at Paisley, High Church parish; mother Margaret Barbour.

The Wellington Independent of 6 April 1850 carried the following item: “Died on Tuesday, April 2, Margaret, daughter of Matthew and Margaret Dunnet, aged 20 months.”  Also, the New Zealand Spectator and Cook’s Strait Guardian of 6 April 1850 had the following: “At Wellington, of croup, on the 2nd inst., Margaret, daughter of Mr and Mrs Dunnett, of Tinakore road, aged 20 months.”

The family moved to Victoria, Australia, sometime around 1851, where Matthew worked as a miner.

Matthew Dunnett died on 2 October 1871 at Dunolly Hospital, Dunolly, Victoria.  He was a miner aged 67, born in Paisley Scotland, 12 years in New Zealand, 20 years in Victoria, married 25 years to Margaret Barber, who he married when he was 28.  His issue included John 37, David deceased, Janet 35?, Ellen deceased, Annie 27, Sarah 25 and Margaret deceased. The cause of death was inflammation and suppuration of the brain, debility, 6 weeks. Mathew was buried at Dunolly Cemetery.

Margaret Dunnett died on 8 April 1882.  She was a widow of 74, born in Paisley Scotland, her father being David Barber, chair manufacturer.  Margaret was 13 years in New Zealand, 29 in Victoria, and was married in Paisley, being married for 25 years to Matthew Dunnet, and was 25 when she married him.  Issue included John 48, Janet 44, Ann 40 and Sarah 38. The cause of death was old age, 5 months. The informant was John Dunnet, son, Ararat.  Margaret was buried at Ararat Cemetery, Victoria.

Annie Dunnet married James Gardner Welsh, a miner, in Inglewood, Victoria, and died in Collingwood, Melbourne on 20 February 1907.  She had 13 children.

No records relating to Sarah Dunnet have been traced, apart from the references in her parents’ death registrations.

John Dunnet

John Dunnet was born on 9 August 1833 and baptized on 26 December 1833, as recorded in the Old Parish Register for Paisley High Church, Renfrew, Scotland.  His parents were Matthew Dunnet and Margaret Barbour.

John Dunnet married Mary Anne Lemin in 1868.

John Dunnett died in 1901 in Ararat, Victoria, Australia, aged 68.  His parents were given as Matthew Dunnett and Margaret Barbour.

Janet Dunnet

Janet Dunnet was born, probably in Paisley, around 1836 and was still living in Australia at the time of her mother’s death in 1882.

A Janet Dunnet married a William McAlpine in Victoria in 1866, and they may have had at least five children.

Ellen Thomson Dunnet

Ellen Thomson Dunnett was born at sea on the Blenheim on 16 November 1840 – Jessie Campbell’s Journal for 17 November 1840 notes, “Another added to our number by the birth of a daughter to a man from Risley. Mother and child doing well, this is the 5th birth on board all doing well…Lat.40-23. Long. 37-29.”

The New Zealand birth registration noted that Ellen Thomson, fourth child of Matthew Dunnett and Margaret Barbour both late of Paisley spouses, was born at sea on board of the Blenheim Emigrant Ship 16 November 1840. The registration was made on 24 January 1840.

It appears that Ellen died before 1871 when her father died.


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John McKinnon

A John McKinnon, 20, labourer from Borline, Skye, recommended by Tallasker, appeared on the initial list of passengers on the Blenheim, with his name crossed out, but then added again at the end of the list. He was also included on subsequent lists.


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The following information requires confirmation.

John McKinnon may not have stayed long in Wellington. Along with 50-60 settlers, including several from the Blenheim,  a John McKinnon left for Hobart on the Lord Sidmouth on 4 February 1841, barely six weeks after arrival.

The Colonial Times of Hobart, in its edition of 23 February 1841, noted that:

The passengers arrived by the Lord Sidmouth, who are about sixty in number, amongst other unfavourable reports state, that, in consequence of the frequency of earthquakes, of which several shocks had been experienced by the settlers since their arrival, they dare not build stone buildings of any size. We were not before aware that the Colony was visited by such a calamity, and we trust the report will turn out to be unfounded. We give it, however, as we received it; and shall be most happy to have it in our power to contradict the assertion.

The same issue of the newspaper also published the list of passengers who arrived on the Lord Sidmouth on 19 February,

FEB. 19.-Arrived the barque Lord Sidmouth, Marr master, from Port Nicholson 4th inst. Passengers – Mr. Hind, Mr. W. Blyth, Dr. Campbell, Dr. Sutherland, Miss M. Rankin, H. Goodwin, wife, .and 6 children, G. Boonger and wife, G. Murray and ‘wife, J. Blyth and wife, C. Morris, wife, and 6 children, P. Shields, S. Wilson, J. Gordon, M. Briton, R. Whitewood, J. Cromworth, – Walker and wife, T. Bonnie, J. Stephens and wife, – Kilgrove, wife, and 5 children, H. M’Kinnon, J M’Kinnon, J. Hichman, wife, and child, J. Lockwood, J. Simmons, J. Chisom, M. M’Eachan, – Eago, P. Lanachar, and Mrs. O’Brien.

There is no further information established for John McKinnon.


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